Robots and automation are not new to many industries. Robots have been used in manufacturing and agriculture for decades, but until recently, they were a rarer sight in the service industry.
All that has changed in the last few years, and the Service Robotics industry is booming. Global sales of service robots have reached 12.9 billion dollars, and according to MarketsandMarkets is set to hit 23.9 billion by 2022.
What role do robots have in the cleaning industry?
Robots present an alternative to human labor in cleaning, where they can easily take on the monotonous and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors and windows. Robots can also replace human workers in more dangerous tasks such as working at heights to clean windows or working with hazardous waste. They’re also particularly efficient and don’t require breaks or time off other than for charging and maintenance.
They’re particularly useful in areas such as:
- Floor Cleaning
- Window Cleaning
- Duct Cleaning
With 80% of the cost of commercial floor cleaning attributed to the labor costs, it’s no surprise that floor cleaning robots are one of the most popular options. Advanced floor cleaning robots can learn the exact layout of the area they need to clean and will remember exactly where they’ve cleaned, effectively eliminating any accidental re-work. They can identify and maneuver around obstacles, navigate uneven surfaces, and return themselves to a charging station when they need recharging.
It’s not just businesses that have been embracing the advantages of automated cleaning. Robots have been steadily making their way into our homes with many people owning a robot hoover or floor cleaner. Domestic robots alone are expected to reach shipments of 12 million units by 2020.
Will robots replace human workers in service industries?
At Team Clean, we take pride in the knowledge and experience of our staff. Our employees aren’t just workers; they’re family, and they’re not easily replaced. We believe the future of robots in the service industry is to supplement human workers, not replace them.
In many cases, robots can take on tasks that humans can’t do easily – like duct cleaning. In these cases, the robots are remote-controlled by a human worker, and the robot can clean quicker and more thoroughly than a human could in such a tight space.
By taking on the more difficult, dangerous, or tedious tasks, robots can allow human workers to tackle the more rewarding and skilled tasks, including maintaining and programming the robots.
Robots are a fascinating addition to the cleaning industry, and one that we think will only enhance it.